Grandville Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot
The second outing to Bryan Talbot’s anthropomorphic world follows hot on the heels of the cataclysmic conclusion of book one. The beefy badger DI Archie LeBrock is languishing in self-pity, driven to drink (as every good copper should be) by the guilt of Sarah’s murder. When his partner, Roderick Ratzi, informs him of the escape of Mad Dog Mastock he is galvanised back into action. The pair travel, unsanctioned, to Grandville once again – on the trail of Mastock and the trail of dead prostitutes he is leaving behind. Yet, as in the first graphic novel, there is far more to the story than a simple killing spree.
Grandville Mon Amour emulates the style of the first book by utilising the gradual revelations of a case to elaborate the history of the Steampunk world. The focus this time around is on the British Resistance who were active prior to British Independence from France. Mastock, DI LeBrock and even the excellently imagined Prime Minister Drummond share this common past, and the ethics of what each of them did during this time come into play throughout the book. The moralities of terrorism versus freedom fighting, and subtle comments about weapons of mass-destruction are effectively rendered.
In book one Archie LeBrock was a little rough around the edges, both in terms of his macho character and also the detail of his characterisation. In this book, Talbot fills out Archie’s background and creates a deeper and more convincing persona. His interaction with Billie, a prostitute who resembles Sarah, is convincing, touching and frustrating by equal measures.
The steampunk setting of the graphic novel is exquisitely detailed, and this undoubtedly contributes to the enjoyment of the tale.
Talbot’s attention to detail and cinematic style are fabulous; the steam-powered cars, airships, wax cylinder messages, automatons all add atmosphere and style. The violence in the book is fairly intense, as is Talbot’s wont, with a fair degree of spatter and gore, but I found it less imposing than in book one.
A key feature of the series is the anthropomorphic artwork, which Talbot chose in honour of the French artist Gerard. It seems to work well here because, apart from occasional puns and bits of fun (recall Rupert’s dad in book one, and the drug-addled Snowy the dog) it doesn’t impact majorly on the story. There is some reference to the differing species, but mainly as insults, and even humans (called Doughfaces) but they embellish rather than define the story. This is in contrast to other anthropomorphic comics typified by Art Spiegelman’s Maus, wherein the species of the characters reflects their ethnic origins (cats are German, mice Jews and pigs are Polish) and play a key part in the story. Whether the anthropomorphic aspects remain a stylistic matter in future books will be interested to see.
In short this is a great read that will appeal to lovers of great graphic novels and stylish steampunk stories alike. By all accounts the series is going to run to five books, and if Bryan Talbot keeps the momentum going then they’ll be a ground breaking work.
This Grandville Mon Amour book review was written by Ross Kitson
Have you read Grandville Mon Amour?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Grandville Mon Amour reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Mortal Engines Quartet
Long before the days of Mortal Engines, London is poised on the brink of apocalypse. Huge armoured fortresses are advancing across the wastelands - a new and terrifying kin...
Gareth L Powell
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed ‘Ack-Ack Macaque’. The troubl...
Captain Nemo: The Fantastic Adventures of a Dark Genius
Kevin J Anderson
The young Verne and his best friend Andre Nemo stow away on a ship bound for the high seas, but Jules' father catches Jules and forces him to come home in total disgrac...
In Dark Service
Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ... on those occasions...
Art and his family are invited on a fantastic free holiday to the exotic Asteroid Belt, in a remote part of space near Mars. Taking the train, they arrive to discover that ...
A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences
Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Evil is most assuredly afoot - and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade... and a librarian. These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s Englan...
The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide
Bringing together an action-filled story full of automatons, airships and a dastardly plot to take over the world and instructions on how to make your own gadgets, The Stea...
A Tale of Langdon St. Ives
James P Blaylock
It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives – brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer – is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a f...
The year is 1914 and Europe, armed with futuristic machines and biotechnology, is on the precipice of war. Prince Aleksandar is fleeing for his life, having discovered that...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: